International students who hold F and J visas are required to have health insurance for themselves and their US residing dependents while studying in the United States. This policy is also required for American students who study abroad.
Most colleges will automatically enroll international students into their health care plan, which must be paid for before classes begin. There are considerations to this rule although when using another health insurance plan, waivers must be filled out explaining exactly what type of insurance policy it is. Colleges do not accept travel insurance plans as international student health insurance nor does it meet the government required standards. Most insurance policies that are offered through colleges are affordable and provide good coverage.
The costs for international student health insurance varies according to the school the student will be attending. Average costs are approximately $800 a year, which can be broken up into semesters.
Most colleges offer international student health insurance through specific insurance companies. Some allow students to purchase different health-care coverage, however the policy must be approved before the student can register for classes. Insurance policies must provide the medical benefit of at least $250,000 per injury or illness with a maximum copay of 25% and a maximum deductible of $150. Repatriation benefits must be at least $7500 and medical evacuation benefits must be at least $10,000. The policy must be valid through the start of the following semester. The policy must also cover pre-existing conditions after having the coverage for six months. This is an average example of insurance requirements by schools for international students. Colleges do differ with their requirements for other health insurance policies as well as their own policies and costs.
Students who have insurance coverage through a spouse or parent in the United States or have insurance through a government sponsor can be exempt from college offered insurance plans. Exemptions must be approved before enrollment by the Office of International Education.